5 Reasons Why Volunteering is Important
(Columbia, Missouri, January 18, 2022) – You are probably familiar with the concept of volunteering. Maybe you’ve even volunteered yourself. However, there are many people out there who don’t care about volunteering and don’t realize how crucial it really is. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 5 reasons why volunteering is important.
What Is Volunteering and Why Is It Important?
As a quick refresher, volunteering—also known as volunteerism—is when you give your time to help another person, organization, or cause. Volunteer opportunities include both in-person volunteering and virtual volunteering. They can also cover a wide range of areas, such as community development, education, agriculture, wildlife protection, health and wellness, helping children, and even transportation. But, why is it important to volunteer?
Here are 5 of the top reasons:
1. Make a Difference in the World
First and foremost, volunteering is important because it helps you make a difference in the world. Almost everyone says they want to make the world a better place, but volunteers are taking concrete actions to do just that. Whether it’s cleaning up your neighborhood, tutoring students, helping at a fundraising event, writing letters to officials, or any number of other crucial tasks volunteers perform, volunteering lets you truly impact the world and your community in a positive way.
2. Connect With Others
Another reason why volunteering is so vital is that it provides you the opportunity to connect with other people. Often, the service you perform while volunteering allows you to meet new people that you may not have met otherwise. Usually, these individuals have something in common with you and you can bond over the important work you are doing. This can lead to new friendships and even job opportunities since you are constantly meeting, interacting, and networking with new people.
3. Learn New Things
Volunteerism also gives you the chance to learn new things. Most likely, you’ll be working in a new capacity that is unfamiliar to you. This will allow you to gain new skills and grow as a person. For example, you may help with planning a large event, provide comfort to an elderly individual, deliver meals, or read to children. Between the people you are serving, the other volunteers you are working with, and the individuals working at the nonprofit you are helping, there are a lot of opportunities for growth. This is especially helpful in building your relationship and communication skills.
4. Nonprofits Rely on Volunteers
Volunteering is also critical to nearly all nonprofit organizations and charities. They have limited budgets and try to use as much money as possible to carry out their missions. That restricts how many employees they can hire, so they rely on volunteers to fill the gap and perform the rest of the vital work that needs to be done.
To put it into perspective, here are some statistics that show exactly how meaningful volunteers are to nonprofits:
Over 63 million Americans volunteer in some capacity (that’s nearly 25% of the adult population in the United States)
It’s estimated that the time volunteers work is worth over $24/hour, which means that Americans contribute over $193 billion worth of volunteer work to their communities.
Just by looking at these statistics, it’s clear that the importance of volunteers in nonprofit organizations cannot be overstated. Nonprofits rely on them and need them.
5. It’s Good for You
The importance of volunteering doesn’t just involve the work you are doing to make the world a better place. It’s also important because it’s good for you!
Research shows that volunteering is beneficial for both your body and mind. This is because many volunteer opportunities involve physical activity, which helps you get your body moving and can lead to lower blood pressure, along with other health benefits. Volunteering can also lead to reduced levels of stress, help deal with anxiety, improve your self-confidence, and help to make you happier overall. While these benefits are a nice bonus, your main reason for volunteering should always be to help make the world a better place.
The Importance of Volunteering With OATS Transit
At OATS Transit, our mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals throughout Missouri by providing safe, caring, and reliable transportation services. We safely transport passengers to their destinations, treat them with respect and compassion, and achieve and maintain maximum standards of performance.
As a nonprofit organization, we know exactly how important volunteering is because we rely on gracious volunteers to continue our essential work. We are able to use all in-kind volunteer hours and donated services toward the operating grants that we receive, which means we are able to turn volunteer hours into money that funds our mission. Here are some of the volunteer opportunities we offer:
Ride the bus with someone as an aide who needs extra assistance or support on the bus, or during their outing. We can match you up with someone, or if you already know someone who rides the bus, you can ride along with them as an aide. Be sure to schedule in advance.
Write letters/postcards or visit your elected city/county/state/US officials. Tell them why YOU need OATS Transit and ask them to support YOUR cause.
We need local bus match funding! We have 700 vehicles statewide that run cumulatively 11 million miles per year, which means continuous vehicle replacement. Can you tell us about local churches, civic clubs, or college groups in your town that we can talk to? We will do the work; we just need contact information to reach out to them about doing a fundraiser or donating funds to buy you a new bus.
Hold a fundraiser in your community and designate OATS Transit as the recipient. These events must be pre-approved. We can send a representative to the event on behalf of OATS Transit.
You can also learn more about what volunteering with us is like or contact us to get involved today!
If you’re looking to learn more about us, we’re a leading specialized transportation agency serving 87 counties in Missouri with our fleet of more than 700 mini-buses and minivans. We serve thousands of Missourians, including senior citizens, people with disabilities, rural citizens, and more, regardless of their sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin, color, or religion.
If you or someone you know needs help with transportation services, contact us today and we’ll help you get where you need to go safely and reliably! If you’d like to learn more about what we do, find out how to ride, make a donation to support our work, or apply for one of our available driving positions!
“Enhancing quality of life by providing safe, caring & reliable transportation services.”
written by Dom Lincoln